Munro Mission Training Gets Underway

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

On August 2nd 2010, after about two months of planning and hours pouring over maps the Munro Mission team set off to begin their first two weeks of training together. The aim of this training was three fold. Firstly, the team wanted to climb as many Munros as possible and cover as much off the route as they could before the main event next August. Secondly, it was their first time together and they would use this time to bond as a team. Thirdly, it was a great opportunity to experiment with a support team and to try and figure out how it could work best for them.

The team were roughly following the route that Stephen Pyke, the world record holder for a continuous self-propelled round, had made. Naturally, they were not going to complete the entire route in these two weeks but the goal was a minimum of 50 Munros in 10 days. The team started off with two days in the Cairn Gorms and it was here that the overworked and fantastically dedicated support team were given their first test when they had to walk more than 16km with all the team’s camping and cooking equipment, sleeping bags, food, water, change of clothes and medical kit to meet the main team at Corrour bothy where they spent their first night.  In just two days managed to climb an impressive 10 Munros whilst also covering more than 70km on foot. Day 1 also saw Becky Roby, the only girl on the team, climb her first ever Munro.

Day 3 arrived with some glorious weather and a fantastic day’s walking which saw the team summit no less than 8 Munros. This day was topped off with a night spent in the Inver Hotel. The entire team would like to thank Sue and Chris for their excellent hospitality, delicious food and overall enthusiasm for the event. The team had a slightly later start on day 4 which began with a steep 500m to the top of Creag Leacach in the Glen Shiel mountains. Becky set a fantastic pace and the rest of the day saw the team climb another 5 Munros under clear skies.

The team were well and truely warmed up by this point which was good because the weather on day 5 was nothing like what they had experienced so far. Low cloud, wind and rain made navigation difficult as the team took on the Ben Lawyers group of Munros. Despite the bad weather they managed the entire group in just 7 hours. Another 6 Munros under the belt.

The bad weather had cleared by the start of the next day but the team were starting to feel the strain of having climbed about 10,000m in total covered over 150km on foot in just 5 days and had a rather demoralising day in which they only managed 2 Munros. The rest day that followed was well appreciated.

Throughout the following week the team managed to keep the pace up and climbed another 26 Munros finishing up with the smallest of them all, Ben Vane. I think a highlight for the team was the day spent in the Glencoe mountains. They had been lucky with good views on a number of days prior to this but the scenery in these mountains really blew them away. They were joined by the DecAid media team for these two days who managed to get some brilliant footage of the team.

 A huge amount was learnt by everyone during these two weeks and many lessons were learnt which are going to add the team’s chances of a successful, continuous, self-propelled round starting on 1st August 2011. The team would like to thank everyone involved in making these two weeks a success.


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